|Tree in Ruscombe valley|
I wonder if people are aware that in September, Gloucestershire County Council’s Development Control Committee granted planning permission to Grundons (a private waste management company who already run an incinerator at Colnbrook near Heathrow) to, amongst other things, landfill 120,000 tonnes of hazardous waste at Bishops Cleeve every year for the next two decades?
Part of this waste is the extremely nasty residues from incineration collected through Air Pollution Control systems (known as APC residues). These residues are considered so dangerous that their emission into the atmosphere is restricted by legislation and their production is continuously monitored 24 hours a day.
By granting this permission to Grundons, Gloucestershire County Council is allowing 50% of the country’s APC residues to come to Gloucestershire, be poured into a large silo, mixed with contaminated waste water and then tipped from the back of an OPEN truck into our green and pleasant land.
There is no air pollution control system at Bishops Cleeve to deal with this waste. In fact, to allow it to come to Bishops Cleeve at all, the Environment Agency has had to issue a derogation from normal environmental controls regarding landfill sites.
Our County Council and other authorities are happily building or planning to build incinerators to deal with residual waste, yet they are not planning strategically how to deal with the end result of this process. Processes do exist to deal with APC residues, which can turn material hazardous to human health into inert substances useable for construction. However, while permission is still given by Gloucestershire County Council and the Environment Agency that allows the low cost, primitive dumping of toxic material to continue, the capital investment and financial imperative required to develop such technologies will never be found.
Liz Hillary, Green Party Member